Spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw
Every movie needs a good antagonist. For Fast & Furious, the action-movie franchise that blurs the lines between cops and criminals, that antagonist can be a well-meaning DEA agent who goes undercover to bust a bunch of car thieves, a world-class mercenary bent on taking out the famous crew one by one, or a mysterious cyberterrorist who uses all manner of cutting-edge sci-fi tech to achieve her goals. But for the spinoff film Hobbs & Shaw, the powerful pair needed an even more overpowered foe.
Sure, Idris Elba‘s “Black Superman” was more than enough to take on Dwayne Johnson‘s Luke Hobbs or Jason Statham‘s Deckard Shaw one on one, but even the cybernetically enhanced super-soldier’s tech wasn’t a match for Hobbs and Shaw working together. But a greater threat lurks in the shadows: the mysterious leader of the tech cult Eteon. This entity is heard giving orders to Brixton and the other Eteon soldiers throughout the movie, and anyone who’s seen similar movies over the years might have expected that entity to be revealed (or at least teased) by the movie’s end. Not so, and direct David Leitch explains why to our own Steven Weintraub in the video above.
What’s interesting here is that Leitch reveals that, early on, there was originally going to be a moment in the movie where the voice was revealed, and he says that they were “circling people who might be the reveal of the voice.” That would suggest that either it’d be a newcomer to the franchise or, less likely, that they had to strike a deal with someone returning from the original films; the voice did say they had a history with Hobbs and wanted to also recruit Deckard, after all. Equally interesting to me is the idea that the villain might not be a human at all but rather an advanced A.I., or perhaps a former human whose consciousness was uploaded into a cloud computer. Ultimately, “the movie didn’t need more characters,” according to Leitch, and he didn’t want to lean on that reveal. Not yet anyway; stay tuned!
Here’s the official synopsis for Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw:
After eight films that have amassed almost $5 billion worldwide, the Fast & Furious franchise now features its first stand-alone vehicle as Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham reprise their roles as Luke Hobbs and Deckard Shaw in Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw.
Ever since hulking lawman Hobbs (Johnson), a loyal agent of America’s Diplomatic Security Service, and lawless outcast Shaw (Statham), a former British military elite operative, first faced off in 2015’s Furious 7, the duo have swapped smack talk and body blows as they’ve tried to take each other down.
But when cyber-genetically enhanced anarchist Brixton (Idris Elba) gains control of an insidious bio-threat that could alter humanity forever — and bests a brilliant and fearless rogue MI6 agent (The Crown‘s Vanessa Kirby), who just happens to be Shaw’s sister — these two sworn enemies will have to partner up to bring down the only guy who might be badder than themselves.
Hobbs & Shaw blasts open a new door in the Fast universe as it hurtles action across the globe, from Los Angeles to London and from the toxic wasteland of Chernobyl to the lush beauty of Samoa.
And for more on Hobbs & Shaw, be sure to check out these recent write-ups: